Thanks for children

Yesterday was a strange day for us in several ways. Our house was listed for sale on the local MLS and Zillow at 7 am. In order to prepare for the sale, we decided to take down the pictures of our children and grandchildren that used to hang on our walls, as we have declined to post any pictures of our grandchildren on social media. That makes our home feel just a little bit less like it is “ours” as we are used to being surrounded by pictures of our children and grandchildren.

By the end of the day, our home had been shown to potential buyers seven times. That meant that for most the time between 9:45 am and 8”30 pm we were away from our home. It was a bittersweet time for us as this has been a wonderful family home for 25 years. While we are excited about the future and committed to downsizing our lives, selling our home is a really big step for us. It isn’t something with which we have a lot of experience. We are a bit nervous about the whole process.

So here is a shameless plug. If you know of someone who is looking for a home in the Black Hills of South Dakota, or if you’d just like to see the listing for our home, here is the link: https://www.zillow.com/homes/5255-Waxwing-Lane,-Rapid-City-SD_rb/117824339_zpid/

For the past three months, getting the house ready to go on the market has been one of the main focuses of my time. I’ve had a long list of projects to complete and have worked on the house full-time most days. Suddenly yesterday our job was to be away from our home and to wait. We ran a few errands. We went for a couple of walks. We visited some friends. At one point in the day, feeling a bit disoriented by all that is going on, I got out my phone, because that is the way that we look at pictures these days. I started looking at some new pictures of our grandson our daughter sent us this week. Then I looked at some pictures of our other grandchildren. Then I began scrolling through my pictures. It was fun to look at the pictures that I have on my phone. I found pictures of us with five children who are about the same ages as our grandchildren, but who live not far from us. They are friends met through the church. They are the most delightful children with fantastic parents and a great network of grandparents and friends. Then I looked at the great nephew and two great nieces we visited on our way home from our last trip to the northwest.

We are so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who have young children. We get to see their emerging personalities and share their sense of play. We get to read stories and be shown their toys. We get to talk with their parents who remind us of the joys and challenges of raising children. The children in our lives make our lives infinitely richer and more joyful.

In the process of making this change in our lives, we have done a little looking at potential new homes. Although our plan is to rent for a while so we can scope out the market in our new home, the Internet makes it easy to look at homes for sale in the area. One of the things upon which we have agreed is that we both are not attracted to “Senior Living” or “Adult Communities.” There are a few places that advertise “Homes for 55+.” We think that we would prefer not to live in such neighborhoods. The thought of not having children in our neighborhood just doesn’t appeal to us.

We know that there are some trials to living with children as neighbors. We used to call some of our neighborhood children “danger children,” because of slightly unregulated use of scooters, bikes, toy cars, sleds and other vehicles on the street we take up the hill to get to our driveway. We told everyone who came to visit to be careful and keep an eye out for the danger children. The children survived without injuries from their escapades as far as we know. There have been a few, though not many, nights when a teenage or young adult party has disrupted our sleep. Occasionally a car with a very loud stereo and booming bass makes its way to a neighbor’s house in the wee hours when we are used to the night sounds of crickets and coyotes. The benefits of living in a neighborhood with people of all ages, however, far outweigh the occasional inconveniences. Whenever the weather is good, we love watching our neighbor’s kids playing with the grandchildren of another neighbor across the street. And when it snows, we enjoy watching the children with their sleds enjoying the hillsides of the neighborhood.

Our prayers for children today are a celebration of our gratitude for living in a world with so many children who give so much delight to us.

Great God of every generation, how fortunate we are to live in a world with children. The children of our children and the children of our friends and neighbors bring so much joy and delight to the world! Their enthusiasm for life inspires us and gives us great pleasure. Opportunities to read stories or to join in play abound and we feel so grateful for the presence of children in the world.

Children give us such a profound blend of memory and hope for the future that we are overwhelmed with the powerful emotions that we experience when we listen to their stories and wonder at their play. Their physical energy so far exceeds our own that they literally take our breath away.

Thank you, God, for the children of the world. Keep them safe. Surround them with love. Bless them, for indeed they are blessings to all of us.

In the name of the infant who was placed in a manger at his birth, Amen.
Copyright (c) 2020 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!